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Recent Posts

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91
All Technology & Tech Help / Re: Microsoft Next Strategy - Rent Windows By The Month
« Last post by The Gorn on October 01, 2018, 07:49:24 pm »
I think for the majority of users they could strip out like 80% of Office's features and nobody would notice.

I use Libre' Writer instead of Word cuz I'm in Linux. It feels like MS Word from 2003. Perfectly functional.
92
All Technology & Tech Help / Re: Why software gets worse
« Last post by The Gorn on October 01, 2018, 07:48:14 pm »
Just guessing, the existing apps get added-to ad nauseum in order to not sacrifice or inconvenience legacy users. I bet that has a lot to do with application bloat.
93

Hey, we were at $195/mo a couple of years ago for internet+TV+phone.

Just check out the Philo.com TV offerings carefully. I find MORE to watch of interest on it than I did on Playstation. You can always subscribe to extra channels through Amazon Prime if you really want (like my wife wants the Hallmark Channel during the holidays so we can rent that for a month and just cancel.) And, you can get premium movies through Prime too.


I like that with the streaming stuff most channels start up instantly with no delay. The cable company box seemed slow.


There's absolutely no reason to bother with the lame overtaxed cable TV utility.


And there's ALWAYS the "United Bittorrent Network" or UBN TV.  ;D  A subscription to a privacy VPN is $4/mo and a must-have if you do that.  >:D ;D
94
All Technology & Tech Help / Re: Why software gets worse
« Last post by ilconsiglliere on October 01, 2018, 07:42:38 pm »
They forgot to mention the H1B which writes the shitty code.  >:D
95
I LIKE IT. I am going to use this as a guideline. Verizon is banging me for $120 a month for cable and voice. And I don't have any premium channels.
96
Adobe is already testing the waters from what I hear. A Company has licensed products but Adobe keeps tightening their grip. Staff use to be able to work remotely, but no more. They also have a limited number of licenses but they use to be able to go to the department or person that needed something done and log in, yes networked workstations, and get their work done. No more. It's now tied to not only that particular person but also to their specific box. (They found that out when they said use my log in and do it yourself.)

All I can say is what a PITA if a box goes down or gets majorly upgraded. Ok, it's kind of like upgrading Windows but this is just an application.

Oh, and they already do rent by the month for the latest features and updates.

And what you say about Windows 7 is also true about Office. How many new features do you really need? They lost that cash cow.

I think for the majority of users they could strip out like 80% of Office's features and nobody would notice.
97
All Technology & Tech Help / Re: Getting out of yahoo
« Last post by ilconsiglliere on October 01, 2018, 07:36:09 pm »
I've setup the "roll your own" for myself and others in the past and it often got forwarded to yahoo or gmail for convenience as well. So it's your own domain but they like the yahoo interface. Sure beats using squirrel.

As for Apple, they are making buckets of money on the iPhone right now but I wonder what percentage of their income, media and services will play as sales slow down?

Also Apple's network is really neat. Have an iPhone in a third world country or just no cell towers? No problem! Your texts and I think your calls will still find their way if it can find a network (wi-fi) connection. Only works iPhone to other Apple device. Can't seamlessly do that with an Android.

I don't want to roll anything ;) except my body.

iMessage which is what you are referring is very different than the SMS that the telco's push. Its literally its own thing. Its basically an instant messaging multimedia application that also happens to do SMS. People have suggested that Apple open it up to Android but you have to ask yourself why would they do that? They want you to BUY their iPhones not Androids, DUH.

If I text another Apple device, IT KNOWS that the other device is an Apple device and bypasses the telco and just uses data. If I text an Android device it switches to the telco SMS. It does a lot of other things with media that SMS is just not capable even with MMS. The limitations on text length, image size, etc.. is very different than on SMS.

On top of this all the other apps sync with each other across devices with me doing nothing - that includes the calendar, contacts, notes, reminders, email, bookmarks, photos and even music if thats what you want. That is of course if you have a Mac and iPhone.

Example - there is something called iCloud Drive which is basically like Dropbox but much more seamless. I don't barely use Dropbox any longer as the iCloud Drive is on all my devices.

There is one down side to all of this - $$$. You pay.
98
Ha-Ha-Ha I thought I was the only one that felt that way.

First why is it so slow? Why can't I find anything? (rhetorical questions from a guy that still runs XP. ;)

With that aside, I'm guessing that work forced you to upgrade?

The deal with OneDrive was the customers choice? God, it sounds like we are going back to the mainframe and mini days. Does anyone run "off" the network? Like highly secure or at least you have an internal network but no outside connection? I'm thinking like a utility or hospital? They might have outside access but it's highly controlled?

I remember the whole OneDrive kind of setup that you describe and it totally sucks. When everyone turns on their computer at the same time in the morning, you have lots of time for coffee and donuts. And when the network goes down, you are dead in the water.

When MS said Windows 10 will be the last Windows you'll ever need, they failed to tell you their plans for post Win 10.

It is so freaking slow. Every single application takes an eternity to open because its syncing with OneDrive. OneDrive should be called OneTurd.

My client suffered a major cyber attack last summer. BILLIONS in damage. We were down and out for months. Now some brainiac decided - hey lets put EVERYTHING in Microshaft's cloud. GOOD JOB MORON. Microshaft must have promised them the world as they have gone whole hog into their stuff - Win10, OneDrive, Office365. They have made huge costly mistakes like this before.

Apparently with Win10 even on the home editions Microshaft wants you to put all your documents in their cloud by default. And in a business environment they have basically mapped My Documents to Onedrive. NOTHING is on the local computer. In the dam file explorer I have yet to figure out how to see the C drive. Its just not there. Its there if you go to the command prompt but not in the file explorer.

OneDrive is very sluggish. I can't wait till 5000 employees and contractors all hit at the same time. OneDrive is basically a step back in time to diskless workstations. And yes we have access to the outside internet.

Frankly I never understood what the deal was with Microshafts network drives - they have always SUCKED. I remember the permissions problems with sharing a folder years ago. It was a nightmare to figure out. Than the rammed Sharepoint down everyone's throat and that sucked too. Now Onedrive is basically Sharepoint on steroids. NFS on Unix predates all this stuff and is far easier to understand and use. Its basic, how hard can this be but Microshaft has NEVER been good at it.

Whomever told them to do this should be FIRED. I would have thought after last summer's debacle they would have REDUCED their exposure to Microshaft but oh no - they have gone deeper into it. They will be sorry.
99
I posted about this topic a couple of years ago. I decided to post an update on what I am currently using and how it's going and what I am spending on stuff.

For Television

Our "infrastructure":

35 MBPS Cable Internet via Spectrum

Clearstream 2V HDTV antenna, mounted on a pole sunk in the yard ~ $75 today (for local TV stations)

Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT Digital HDTV Preamplifier ~ $44 today  (amplifies the antenna signal to be usable in our rural area)

Amazon Fire TV for streaming internet stuff ~$75 today

Tablo 2-Tuner DVR for Over-The-Air HDTV - ~$89 for a refurbished unit (now)

Subscriptions:

- Amazon Prime - Jeff Bezos sucks, but $10/mo for Prime TV + free shipping for the year is a good deal

- Netflix - $11/mo (the basic package, not the 4K upgrade or any add-ons)

- Philo TV https://www.philo.com - $16/mo - covers about 40 cable TV channels - live + on-demand viewing of almost all programs - Omits all news and all sports, which is OK with us.

- Tablo TV program subscription - $5/mo, makes the Tablo device usable by providing continuous schedule updates for local TV programming, plus provides program descriptions and thumbnail graphics for identifying TV shows in the menus.

A total monthly cost of $42/mo for video services. It's *almost* the equal of a decent cable TV lineup. Some things are on-demand only, but we have a lot of live TV options.

What we lack in this scheme:

- Many cable channels, mainly news related (Fox, CNBC, CNN, and C-span) plus some major networks like FX/FXX.

We sponge off of my mother-in-law's cable subscription with full coverage by using the Fire TV apps for CNBC, Fox News, and FX networks, and log in with her ID. So we can watch pretty much anything we did on cable or satellite, as long as she carries cable for herself.

Observations:

1) The Tablo TV devices are somewhat unreliable. The actual performance is good when they are working. But we are on the second box. We had one "fry" and stop working, which actually burned out the network outlet on the switch the Tablo was plugged into (so that switch now has 3 and not 4 functional ethernet jacks. Grr.) A design flaw of the original Tablo appears to be overheating due to the bottom plate being covered and pointed at the surface the box sits on. It usually ran hot enough to fry an egg on. With the new device I simply placed the box upside down for better air circulation.

2) Philo TV is currently IMO the best deal going for basic streamed cable TV service. No other provider comes close in its basic package and all others are more expensive to start. We did have Playstation Vue, which had really good cloud DVR, but it had crept up to almost $50/mo, and they dropped many Viacom channels (Paramount, MTV/VH1, Comedy Central) plus the History channel. This change saved me $30/mo  and the Philo TV app feels much faster and easier to use than the Playstation app.

3) Spectrum is currently pushing a basic cable bundle with the internet service. But the monthly cost rises from $70/mo internet only to $100/mo with channels, and we then have a stupid DVR box to deal with again. Also, the flyers then send out drastically lowball the real price of the service after adding all fees, taxes, and cable operator surcharges. After dealing with Time Warner before I don't want to give them new business. Streaming is SO MUCH CLEANER than dealing with cable company hardware!

4) Netflix is almost a no-brainer for the price if you'd like some TV diversion on demand. The library of classic and current movies and TV shows is vast.

5) The Amazon Fire TV device has worked fine. But in some ways Fire TV seems to have much more limited application options. The Roku had a vast array of undocumented, off the wall video services you could set up. I moved us to the Fire when we got Playstation Vue whose app worked much better on Fire. But now that Playstation is out of the picture I may try an upgraded Roku again.


6) Android TV: I bought a well reviewed Android TV box a few weeks ago to try out to extend the number of apps we could watch on. I found that the user interface of Android TV is absolutely miserable. You have to use the remote as a mouse in some instances and "press" controls on the screen. Yech. Also, the particular box I bought @$50 was buggy as hell. Youtube videos would break up into snow and Prime videos would lock up and stop playing. I returned the device.

For Home Telephone

We're still with https://voipo.com, VOIP for the house.

I just renewed our plan through 2020. Monthly cost $7.71 including ALL fees. This is charged as $149 for 2 years (24 mo) + taxes for a total of $185. Considering that we paid $85/mo for local phone service before this is excellent.

I have my router configured so that VOIP has been essentially error free and high quality for many months. (the ports need to be mapped in specific ranges and I had lots of problems with the setup until I got that squared away.)

The security alarm was connected to the phone line, and I preserved that connection when I set up the VOIP adapter. The security alarm can make test (and real) calls out to the alarm service reliably.

In fact I recently sent a FAX out over this line and that worked OK, too. It arrived as required. So digital data passes over this VOIP acceptably when necessary.

We did have one small mishap. Voipo provides their own VOIP adapter, which is a "Grandstream" brand device which gets so-so reviews online. A few months ago one telephone jack (it has two) burned out and basically generates noise. I had to transition the service to the second phone jack on the device which still worked.

VOIPO were kind of jerks about this and say that their device is unwarrantied if you use it to drive a house's phone lines, which is the only practical way to use it. They expect you to directly connect the VOIP adapter to a telephone handset. So they only offered to sell me a new box (about $50.)

They didn't really work to earn my new business but they are still the price leader so I renewed recently.

I bought a Cisco ATA VOIP adapter for about $30 and sometime I intend to configure it so it works in all details on our VOIP service. (When I connect it it does work but some features like voicemail are very buggy.)  The Cisco device is reviewed much better than the Grandstream device.
100
Discussions - Public / Re: Animated Map: Visualizing 2,400 Years Of European History
« Last post by The Gorn on October 01, 2018, 06:49:07 pm »
The transition from USSR to Russia + Eastern European former bloc countries looks like the biggest and fastest single visual change.


Very cool.
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